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Nomo Keeps Giants at Bay

Right-hander goes seven strong innings in 6-0 victory, the Dodgers' first at Pacific Bell Park after five one-run losses. Beltre's three-run homer is biggest of 16 L.A. hits.

June 26, 2003|Jason Reid | Times Staff Writer

SAN FRANCISCO — Not that the Dodgers were developing a complex about playing at Pacific Bell Park, but they had hoped for at least one victory here this season.

It finally occurred Wednesday night in a 6-0 rout of the San Francisco Giants before a sellout crowd of 42,632.

The Dodgers used a rare breakout performance on offense in their sixth game in Northern California, salvaging a victory in the three-game series.

They pounded 16 hits -- their second-highest total of 2003 -- to support starter Hideo Nomo (9-6) in a typically consistent outing.

The Dodgers chased Giant left-hander Damian Moss and took command in a five-hit, four-run third inning, Adrian Beltre's three-run home run giving them a 5-0 lead. In addition to Beltre's sixth homer, Mike Kinkade hit his third in the seventh.

"To win a game here, yeah, it gets the monkey off our back, from having to read about the fact we haven't won a game in San Francisco," Manager Jim Tracy said.

"But the manner in which we are 1-5 in this ballpark, with the other five games being one-run losses, there hasn't been anybody that's come through the turnstiles that's been disappointed in the way the games have been played between the two clubs."

Nomo provided another rock-solid foundation, limiting the Giants to two hits in seven innings. Wilson Alvarez pitched the last two innings.

The second-place Dodgers (45-32) escaped San Francisco trailing the Giants (46-31) by one game in the National League West, and are 4-8 overall against their rivals.

The Dodgers' first victory at the Giants' home came not a moment too soon, and it started with Nomo, who retired the side in every inning except the second and sixth.

Andres Galarraga doubled with one out in the second, and pinch-hitter Francisco Santos doubled leading off the sixth.

Nomo was methodically efficient. He walked one with seven strikeouts while throwing 53 strikes in 81 pitches.

The right-hander worked at least seven innings for the 16th time in 17 starts, and enhanced his reputation of being a Giant nemesis.

Nomo improved to 13-4 with a 2.62 earned-run average against San Francisco, winning for the 11th time in 13 decisions, including twice in three starts this season.

He also improved to 4-3 with a 2.77 ERA in eight starts following a Dodger loss, proving that Kevin Brown isn't the only stopper on this team.

"He enjoys pitching wherever he's at," Tracy said. "Obviously, that was quite a step-up performance once again. He has developed a real habit of doing that over the course of the last two seasons for us, and his record is indicative of that."

Said Shawn Green, who had two doubles: "He was outstanding. He came out and did his thing like he always does. He just breezed right through it."

The Dodgers had their most hits since getting 18 against the Giants on April 20 in a 16-4 victory at Dodger Stadium.

It appeared they might have another frustrating night at the plate. They came away with only one run in the second -- on Cesar Izturis' run-scoring single -- after twice loading the bases.

However, the Dodgers didn't mess around in the third against Moss, (7-6) who was on shaky ground entering the inning.

Moss has struggled with his command in his second full season in the rotation and was all over the place again.

He hit two batters in the first and escaped, then gave up only one run in the second, but Green doubled to open the third, and the Dodgers had runners on the corners after Kinkade's single. Ron Coomer's single to left drove in Green.

Enter Beltre.

The struggling third baseman connected for a long three-run shot to left on Moss' first pitch. That was it for Moss.

"We had a pretty good chance the first two games, but we didn't get a big hit," Beltre said. "Today, we were aggressive and hit the ball hard. The third inning we scored four, and that's what we needed. We needed one big inning."

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